Startup Review: Aggregate your Social Feed using RebelMouse

Most people today use more than one social network. You either have a Twitter account or Facebook account or both. Wouldn’t it be awesome if there were a service that would aggregate all your social content into a single webpage?

Well, RebelMouse does exactly that! It’s a service that allows you to aggregate your social feeds from Twitter and Facebook and is created by Huffington Post’s former CTO Paul Berry.

Signing up for RebelMouse is a pretty straightforward process. You can either use your Twitter or Facebook account to sign up. Once signed up, you will be taken to the RebelMouse dashboard. Here you can configure your Facebook and Twitter settings. You can include your profile, the Facebook pages you administer and apps you own. For twitter, you can add different accounts on Twitter. While you need to be the owner/admin of the Facebook page that you are adding, you can add any public Twitter profile that you like.


You can even add multiple persons to administer your RebelMouse site. You can add them as Editor, Administrator or Guest. Once you have added the feeds, your post will automatically start appearing. At the moment, RebelMouse is offering a free account. But paid accounts for individuals and businesses with a top level domain name will be added soon, according to their site.

The interface of the site is pleasant to see albeit a little bit cluttered. They provide a few options on the fonts and that’s the only customization option you will get.


Coming to a conclusion, it’s an easy to use service to aggregate your content. Will anyone want to visit another site for social updates is an entirely different question. But considering they got about 12,000 signups within the first week, that isn’t an issue.

World’s Social Media Gathering

If you are a social media geek, if you remain in touch with the developments that take place there within AND expecting a conference that stimulates your expectations, then you are right on the money! A conference encompassing such an atmosphere is taking place next month from July 6 to July 8, 2012 in Zurich, Switzerland. Captioned “World’s Social Media Gathering”, the conference is intended to focus on ideation, innovation, creative thinking and doing things beyond convention. It intends to gather social media trend-watchers, media analysts, businesses and strategic decisions makers from all over the planet to provide a perspective different from what this intended audience would provide. How would that happen? Well, the “World’s Social Media Gathering” will be hosted by unconventional speakers who would promote creativity among the audience by instilling thought-provoking ideas, implement innovative methods using practical sessions with a focus that would not deviate from YOU!

Changing the Rules of the Game

Since social media aims to provide a platform where every single individual on the face of this planet has an equal say in affairs of all types, this conference tilts the see-saw towards the common individual providing him the power, the decision making ability and putting ideas forward. Now people who have previously called the shots at corporate level will have to sit back and watch the future unfold. Inspired yet? If not, check this out:

More Proof that Facebook Might Buy Opera

Opera-SoftwareLast week, Pocket Lint broke the story that Facebook might be looking to acquire Opera. Initially, I was pretty dismissive of the report. While, the deal did make sense for Facebook, I wasn’t sure it was something that Opera really needed. In fact, Opera’s co-founder and ex-CEO Jon von Tetzchner’s comments echoed as much. “I want Opera to focus on growth and delivering good results; there are big opportunities for Opera,” Tetzchner, who holds 10.9 percent of Opera, told Reuters. “We have been promised 500 million users by 2013, and I think that’s a good goal and the firm should keep going for it.” He added, “I personally think that an ARPU (average revenue per user) goal of $1 is even modest. I am not pushing for a takeover.”

However, Pocket Lint’s initial report has since been backed up by Robin Wauters who is typically well sourced in browser related matters. Not only that, bankers told Reuters that Opera had “long been up for sale informally”. Now, I find this bit of information particularly interesting because of one reason. Tetzchner quit Opera last year. His departing email read, “It has become clear that The Board, Management and I do not share the same values and we do not have the same opinions on how to keep evolving Opera”. My theory is that it is quite possible that Jon’s disagreement with the board was over their plans on pushing for a takeover by a larger entity. Tetzchner always regarded Opera as his baby, and insisted on staying independent and retaining a core set of values that defined Opera Software. It’s hard to think that he would have found proposals of selling out agreeable.

While all of the above is conjecture on my part, there is one bit of information that Vygantas has dug out, which strongly hints that something is up at Opera software. As you might already know, a significant portion of Opera’s revenues come from its search agreement with Google. Opera ships with Google as the default search engine, and in return, Google shares a chunk of revenue it generates from the traffic coming from Opera. Earlier today, Opera Software announced that it is extending its existing agreement with Google for a month. This move is extremely unusual, as typically such renewals are for a year or several years. I don’t remember Opera ever renewing its agreement for such a short period. While it is entirely possible that the renewal is simply a temporary measure to give the two companies some time to thrash out a new deal, it is also possible that Opera expects something big to happen in the next one month. You know, like being acquired by Facebook.

There is still no concrete proof that anything is really going on. But, over the past week, we have seen multiple sources claim that something might be up. In my opinion, the deal does make sense for Facebook. It will allow it to both gain eyeballs in the mobile segment, and also better monetize it. However, I am not convinced that it’s in Opera’s best interests to allow itself to be gobbled up by folks for whom browser is not really a priority. Facebook might increase Opera’s reach, but it might also stagnate Opera’s development, hamper its innovative edge, and tarnish its reputation and trust.

Rumor: Facebook Looking to Buy Opera Software

Opera-SoftwareFacebook might be eyeing Norwegian browser maker Opera Software, if a report from Pocket Lint is to be believed. According to its “man in the know”, Facebook might be preparing to step into the browser market, in order to ensure that no matter what you are doing, you are always connected to your Facebook social graph.

If true, it’s going to be another stunning move by Zuckerberg. Opera currently boasts of more than 200 million users, with a very strong presence in the mobile arena. For many in the developing world, Opera Mini is the only means of surfing the internet. It also has strong relationship with leading handset makers and carriers. Facebook can certainly help Opera in expanding its audience, and Opera can embed Facebook into its user’s life. Opera also has a strong presence in the mobile phone and smart TV market that Facebook will find valuable.

That being said, acquiring a company like Opera is different from acquiring a start-up like Instagram. Opera has dozens of offices with hundreds of employees spread across the globe. Developing browsers is complicated stuff, and Opera has had to really fight it out to survive through multiple browser wars. Facebook and Opera have very little in common in terms of their products. In fact, they even have distinctly different cultures and company ethos. From where I am sitting, this certainly doesn’t look like a marriage made in heaven.

A couple of years back, when Opera co-founder Jon von Tetzchner was at the helm, I could have confidently said that Opera would never sell out. With the new management, I can’t be so sure. However, even then, it’s extremely hard to fathom that Opera will allow itself to come under Facebook’s umbrella. What might happen though is that Facebook and Opera might enter into a partnership. We have already seen Opera develop customized browsers for the likes of Nintendo. It might create and maintain a Rockmelt like browser with tight Facebook integration, in return for eyeballs and revenue from the social networking giant. But, in the recent past, Opera has been focussing on a more streamlined approach with less customized solutions.

When asked for a response, Opera declined to comment citing its standard policy of not reacting to market rumors.

Facebook Launches Instagram Clone for iOS, Calls it Facebook Camera

In the days leading up to the Facebook IPO, one thing that pundits loved to harp on was its weakness in the mobile segment. One of the cornerstones of Facebook is its Photos feature, which helped it gain rapid traction in the first place. However, in the mobile segment, Facebook lacked a compelling app to leverage this advantage. Not only is uploading videos to Facebook through its iPhone and Android apps cumbersome, but viewing it also is a less than pleasant experience. As a result, upstarts like Instagram that made sharing photos from your mobile phone elegant and pain free quickly gained popularity. Zuckerberg himself realized this and went on to shell out a billion dollars to prevent Instagram from falling into its competitors laps.

However, long before Facebook purchased Instagram, it had set about to fix the void in its mobile offering. A team was hard at work to come up with a dedicated Instagramesque photography app. A short while back, Facebook unveiled its creation on the iTunes App Store.


The new app is called Facebook Camera. While Facebook wouldn’t win any awards for the name, it pretty much nails everything about the app. Facebook Camera is Instagram with a few differences. It features multiple photo effects to lend your snaps the ‘artistic’ touch, it enables quick sharing of photos, and it has a photo stream that just contains pics shared by your social graph. Its biggest advantage compared to Instagram is that it supports batch photo upload, which allows you to club multiple related photos together. However, it also has its share of disadvantages. The biggest one is that Facebook Camera doesn’t allow sharing of pics across social networks. No one really expected Facebook to make it easy for you to share your pics on Twitter or Google Plus, but this is still a very real drawback. Also, since the Facebook Camera photo stream includes pics that were not shared through the mobile app, not all photos look as classy as Instagram. Of course, folks who have a strong disdain for the artificial photographs popularized by Instagram will probably appreciate this.


The big question is how does Facebook Camera fit into Facebook’s future strategy. It will directly compete with Facebook’s Instagram, which is the current leader in the mobile social photography app segment. A Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch, “As Mark asserted, we’re committed to building and growing Instagram independently, so I anticipate some healthy competition.”

Most people believe that Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram was a defensive move rather than an aggressive one. Zuckerberg didn’t want Google or Twitter to get a boost from Instagram’s existing popularity, so he acquired it. He had to promise to keep it independent, as otherwise Instagram wouldn’t have allowed itself to be taken over by Facebook. However, this also means that Instagram’s social graph is going to remain distinct from Facebook in the foreseeable future. Instagram doesn’t really tie into Facebook, and augment Facebook Photos. Even though Instagram is under Facebook’s control, Zuckerberg will obviously prefer if people used Facebook’s social graph to share photos on the mobile. It will increase the stickiness of the platform, and strengthen the lock that Facebook has on a user. This is probably why Facebook went ahead with the release of Facebook Camera, even after announcing the acquisition of Instagram.

Facebook Camera is currently available for download in the App Store for English speaking countries.

NO!!! Facebook Not Charging For Accessing Website

I have seen this stupidity go around in the past where users spread messages saying Facebook will charge for new profiles, and I think the hoax message is spreading again just like those chain email messages where you would die in 7 days if you don’t forward that email or text messages to 10  people in 10 minutes of receiving it.

Died not Forwarding Messages

Such type of messages never killed anyone, unless you consider the tombstone above which is intended for fun. Similarly, you will not gain any advantage by circulating a message to others saying that is going paid because they invested heavily in the Facebook Timeline which you can’t even remove.


Trust me, even though Facebook’s IPO is not doing that well, they will hardly make any move to charge users who are their revenue stream and lose more money on their stock.

So just chill out and stop polluting the feeds with such messages. It won’t help you and neither will it help others.

(Image Credit: unknown)

Make Google+ Look Like Pinterest

Social photo-sharing and bookmarking website Pinterest has become quite a rage. Just last month, it overtook Google Plus to become the third most popular social network (behind Facebook and Twitter). Much of the success of Pinterest can be attributed to it’s simple but intuitive user interface (UI). Now, by using a simple userscript, you can skin your Google Plus stream to look like Pinterest.

Pinterest UI for Google+ is currently only available as a Greasemonkey script for Firefox; however, Chrome support is on its way. The script reformats Google+ into a multi-column grid layout ala Pinterest. It is designed for screen resolutions larger than 1024×768. On smaller screens, the script will automatically disable itself. The layout is completely fluid and adjusts to the resolution and browser window size. The new Google+ layout received a lot of flak for wasting enormous amounts of screen real-estate. This script solves that issue by making use of the entire screen width. It ensures that there is always at least three columns. When your screen is not wide enough, the posts are “compressed” into a smaller size to fit the screen width. Here’s how my stream looks with the Pinterest UI installed.


One of Google Plus’ strong points it is media integration. Large thumbnails, tight coupling with YouTube, and support for GIF animations lends it an edge over Facebook. As a result, pictures and videos often constitute a sizable portion of the Google+ activity stream. Pinterest interface for Google+ is ideally suited for circles in which a lot of media is being shared. It’s a bit messy for sure, but it also has its own advantages.

[ Download Pinterest UI for Google+ Greasemonkey Script ]

Prismatic: Organize Feeds

I connected to Prismatic using Twitter. There was a claim that it would help organize my extremely diverse set of tweets coming from a relatively hodge podge network.

It is an attempt to go beyond being a social news aggregator into a more personalized service. This service learns about you based on your inputs (click “+” or “x”) to keep or remove an article.

The steps to move onboard are as follows:

Step 1: Sign in with Twitter/Facebook

Step 2: Prismatic will study you based on the types of posts you vote for and publish

Step 3: Prismatic provides your personalized newsfeed

Step 4: Enjoy the specially selected list of articles that you will likely want to  repost

This aggregator works to fill the demand in the sector that comes between personal social networking (like Twitter and Facebook) and news sharing (like NYT, Awl, to name a few). The result is that this semantic-filter site, learns about your interests to provide you with your own ready to use feed to save you the trouble of identifying and organizing various sources. It is a good replacement for your RSS reader. After all, from the hundreds of people that we follow on Twitter, we may just go over a dozen of them at a time.

The co-founder Bradford Cross spoke of it thus,

 I think the media industry in a few years is going to be completely transformed — all of these things will look very different. So we’re just focusing on how we can help people discover the things they are interested in.

It is worth giving this a try and compare it with its competitors (Flipboard and Zite). If you are a heavy Twitter or Google Reader user, this form of organized content coverage will provide a very nice table of contents to pick your stories.

Personally, I am not entirely convinced by this concept. These aggregators provide me with stories based on choices that I select, but what about the many choices that I randomly come about and like too. They have forgotten to consider that I may have evolving tastes and may not have come across posts on every topic that I like. The sum of my interests comes from the known and the unknown that I  may stumble upon (pun intended).

Download/Export Instagram Photos to PC, Dropbox or Flickr

Instagram is one of the hottest apps for iOS and with more than 35 million users combined. The app which did not have any revenue was so popular that went ahead and purchased it for more than $1 billion. However, the purchase by Facebook has left many users wondering as to whether they should continue using the app or not?

If  you are one of those disgruntled users and are looking to stop using the app, here is a easy way to export and download all the Instagram photos you have uploaded till now and back them up to your computer. You can also download and move them to a free service of your choice as well.

Export and Download Instagram Photos to Desktop PC

Export and Download Instagram Photos

Instaport is a web service which allows you to export all your Instagram photos and download them to your local PC (they are working on social export soon). To download all your Instagram photos, visit the website at and connect it to your Instagram account.

Once you have done that, you will be able to export and download all your Instagram photos to your computer. You can also select from to only download a smaller number of photos or select photos you have uploaded between certain dates. Additionally, you could also download photos which you have liked and photos with certain tags.

Export, Download or Backup Instagram Photos to Dropbox, Facebook or Flickr

If you are looking to download your Instagram photos to , Facebook (ironic Smile) or , you can use a very useful service called If This Then That or ifttt for short, which provides you with recipes to automatically perform tasks based on certain triggers or action.

ifttt is a very simple service and users can find recipes which will allow them to backup their Instagram photos to Flickr or save them to Dropbox or upload them to Flickr or among other places.

To setup a backup for your Instagram photos, sign up for the ifttt service and visit the recipe page for Instagram at Once there,  you can select the recipe you want to use and setup the required parameters. Once you have done that, just click the “Create task” button to create it. ifttt will then periodically run the task and backup your Instagram photos to your selected service.

Please note: While using ifttt, your older photos may not be backed up. You might have to use the first method to download all your photos and then upload it to  your choice of service.

Guys Share Your Favs with Gentlemint

A lot of us are very familiar with popular pinning site “Pinterest”. It’s the perfect time waster and frankly, can be downright informative. However, with all the fashion and make up tips, home decorating, etc…, Pinterest can be a little on the feminine side. Guys you might want to check out a more masculine alternative. Gentlemint is a “manly social site” where guys can share things that guys like.


Gentlemint is the brainchild of two co-workers, Glen Stansberry and Brian McKinney. The two decided one day that they would build a “manly social site”. They decided just for fun that they would build a website to its completion in just one day. When the day was over they published and haven’t looked back since. Glen and I shared a few emails back and forth a while back and it sounds like they have a lot planned for the future. At the heart of it though, I believe the guys just wanted to do something manly and fun.


Pictured above, you get a glimpse of what the Gentlemint screen looks like. It is very similar to Pinterest with the tiled pictures. When you click on the pictures you can save it to your Mint or share it on Twitter and Facebook. Clicking on the picture takes you out to the original website where the picture came from.

Sharing a website that you like is very easy to do. There is a link at the top of the website that says “Add to the Mint”.  When you click it, you will see the screen pictured below. You can either copy and past a URL into the link bar on the left, or you can use the “Mint it!” button by dragging it to your browser’s toolbar. When you see a page you want to share, just click the button and it starts the process for you.

Mint It

Gentlemint has a lot of potential and is a great place for guys to look at stuff they like. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t just a site with a bunch of bikini clad swimsuit models. As a matter of fact, I see more swimsuits on Pinterest than I do on Gentlemint. It really is a site where guys share some pretty cool stuff. Right now you have to request an invite to use the service. This isn’t about being exclusive as much as it is about managing growth. The site has grown so fast that the founders had to slow it down a little so they could keep up.

I look forward to future improvements for this “manly” site. Hopefully, they can get their revenue stream steady so they can keep growing. When you go to the site, be sure to check out their blog so you can keep up with what’s new. Happy minting!